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Founder Institute Mentors provide the passion, dedication and support that helped launch over 500 businesses since the Institute was founded in 2009, and will help launch another 750 businesses in 2012. Mentors have inspired enrolled Founders to build the next generation of meaningful and enduring technology companies. 

Among these great individuals, there are some Mentors that stand out. Last month we announced the nominees for the Top Founder Institute Mentor Awards, and this past Tuesday we hosted a luncheon to announce the winners. 


And without further ado, here are the winners; 


Most Sessions Mentored

 Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz - President, Sepulveda Capital

Rodrigo is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, and is also a board member at Allmyapps.com and EPITECH. Formerly, he was Founder & CEO vpod.tv, founder and MD RISC Partners, CEO glowria, Principal at Gemini Consulting, and Manager KPMG Consulting. He earned a master's in computer science from EPITA: Ingénierie Informatique, where he was captain of the rowing team, and a MBA from INSEAD in entrepreneurship, strategy, and private equity.

Most Locations Mentored

 Ziv Gillat - Co-founder, Eye-Fi

Ziv Gillat is Cofounder of Eye-Fi. Previously, Ziv worked at Silverback Systems, iReady, Zaffire, Photo Access, and Apple. Ziv is a professional photographer with a passion for helping consumers backup and share their photos and videos. He received his B.S. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Highest Rated Overall

 Jim Franklin - CEO, SendGrid

Jim is the CEO  of SendGrid, the leader in email deliverability. Previously, he was the VP and General Manager of the Crystal Ball Global Business Unit and the VP for Enterprise Performance Management for Oracle Corporation.  Previously Jim was the CEO of Decisioneering, Inc., CFO at Vericept Corporation and was  a founder of webfamilies.com.  


Highest Rated in the Eastern U.S.

 Mark Pickett - CEO, Nail Your Mortgage

Prior to founding Nail Your Mortgage, Mark had deep roots in the brokerage business. After serving in Somalia as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, Mark worked as a product manager with Qwest Communications and Motorola in their internet solutions and mobile internet solutions group, respectively. From there he entered the software business, as one of the initial hires into KPMG Consulting's new ASP practice.  

Highest Rated in the Western U.S.

 Joe Bezdek - Co-founder, DivX

Joe Bezdek is a co-founder of DivX, Inc., the creator of the popular DivX video format and technology. While there, he filled a variety of roles in product management, marketing, and brand management, most recently as brand director. He left DivX in late 2007 to spend time with his wife and three young daughters, road tripping across the country in a variety of vehicles, including a 38-foot motorhome.

Highest Rated in Europe

 Robin Chase, Founder & CEO of Buzzcarr

Robin Chase  is founder and CEO of Buzzcar, a peer to peer carsharing company. She is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar (largest carsharing company in the world) and GoLoco (ridesharing site that combined social networks with nice mapping and search). And currently heads Meadow Networks (a transportation and technology consulting firm). Robin sits on two national advisory committees for the US government (Transportation & Technology; Innovation and Entrepreneurship).


Highest Rated in Asia

 Tuan Pham - Founder and Chairman, TOPICA

Dr. Tuan M. PHAM is Founder and Chairman of TOPICA, a dominant provider of high quality online degrees; Co-Founder and President of Elite Vietnam, a pioneering modeling and media production agency; and was Co-Founder and Chairman of Noi.vn, a leading online dating social network that he sold to media group YAN TV. TOPICA operates Founder Institute Vietnam, and Pham has previously nurtured several successful startups as Director of CRC-TOPICA, Vietnam's first incubator.


Highest Rated in the Americas

 Tim Delhaes - CEO, MonkeyContact

Tim is a serial and social entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in technology, networks and business development and currently the CEO of MonkeyContact, a Silicon Valley based startup currently still in stealth mode. In addition to MonkeyContact, I am also actively involved in a number of other projects including First Tuesday and Founder Institute Chile.


Highest Rated Individual Session

Dan Shapiro, former Founder & CEO of Sparkbuy and Ontela

Dan now works at Google following their acquisition Sparkbuy, which he sold to them within 6 months of inception. Before that he was the Founder and CEO of Ontela, a pioneering mobile imaging company that merged with Photobucket, where he was named CEO of the Year by MobileBeat.

Most Interesting Mentor Company

 Naval Ravikant - Co-founder, AngelList

Naval is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and a co-author of Venture Hacks. Previously, Naval was a co-founder at Genoa Corp (acquired by Finisar), Epinions.com (IPO via Shopping.com), Hive7, Inc., and Vast.com (now one of the largest auto shopping networks online). Naval has also advised Bix.com, iPivot, and XFire, among others, and invested in many companies, including Twitter, Social Media, Jambool, SnapLogic, and Disqus.


Most Supportive

 Rajesh Setty - Co-founder and CMO, iCharts

Rajesh Setty is an entrepreneur, author and speaker based in Silicon Valley. Rajesh is involved in several other technology businesses in the US, Europe and India in some combination of investor, founder, advisor and/or an executive. He is a member of the Band of Angels, an angel network in Silicon Valley. He is a speaker for Vistage, a network for CEOs worldwide.


Others who were nominated and recognized as top Founder Institute Mentors include; 

Congrats everyone!

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